"Justice in Jeopardy: Malaysia 2000" is not pertinent if Rais repudiates his  1995 book  "Freedom under Executive Power in Malaysia" as totally irrelevant and inconsequential

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim had pledged that he would bring to the attention of the government the  recent international legal community’s report on the country’s judiciary, "Justice in Jeopardy: Malaysia 2000"  if it is pertinent.

"Justice in Jeopardy: Malaysia 2000" will not be pertinent and does not require any government attention or concern if Rais repudiates his  1995 book  on the conflict between the rule of law and executive power in Malaysia "Freedom under Executive Power in Malaysia - A study of executive supremacy" as totally irrelevant and inconsequential.

I had always regarded  "Freedom under Executive Power in Malaysia - A study of executive supremacy" an important  study of great honesty and integrity about how Malaysia degenerated into a semi-democracy, where to quote Rais, "Rule by law and not rule of law supersedes and takes priority in most aspects of ruling the people" producing "a culture of fear in an already non-critical society".

I was not the only one to think highly of Rais’ book.

Former Lord President, Tun Suffian, has this to say about Rais’ book:

Another former Lord President, Tun Salleh Abas, has this to say about Rais’ book:

Rais fully agreed with the views expressed by the two former Lord Presidents, about "a working democracy slowly but surely sliding into a dictatorship" and how the executive, "now occupying the pinnacle of power, making everything else subservient to it" not only because both  these laudatory endorsements were printed in the backcover jacket of Rais’s book, but they  faithfully represented Rais’ conclusions of his study.

Describing the Internal Security Act as "A Tool for Authoritarianism", Rais ended his chapter entitled "The Dictates of Political Supremacy in the 1988 Judicial Crisis" with the following Conclusion:

Rais was very categorical and definitive in his book not only that Malaysia had lost the independence of the judiciary, but that the future for the rule of law and human rights in Malaysia is "dismal". (Preface).

 "Justice in Jeopardy: Malaysia 2000" is an update of Rais’ study and Rais can only dismiss the international legal community’s terrible indictment of the system of justice if he repudiates his own book.

As author of  "Freedom under Executive Power in Malaysia", Rais should have the intellectual and political honesty to recognise the importance and integrity of "Justice in Jeopardy: Malaysia 2000" and initiate the process as the Cabinet Minister responsible for law and justice for the restoration of a just rule of law and a truly independent judiciary.

The first step is to make copies of  "Justice in Jeopardy: Malaysia 2000" available to all Members of Parliament and open up a nation-wide debate starting with a special debate on the subject before the adjournment of the current meeting of Parliament.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman